Mt. Lofty Summit is free to enter, although there is a small charge for parking. Visit on a day trip or half-day trip from Adelaide, on an Adelaide city tour, or as part of a longer journey, such as the epic road trip that links Melbourne and Adelaide. Combine the summit with a pilgrimage to the koalas at Cleland Wildlife Park, the historic German settlement of Hahndorf, a Murray River cruise, or Adelaide Hills wineries. Get active on guided or self-guided hiking trips along the Heysen Trail, to Waterfall Gully, or to Cleland Wildlife Park, or ride a mountain bike downhill from the summit to the city.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Panoramic views from the summit lookout make Mt. Lofty a must for photographers and Instagrammers.
Wear a hat, apply sunscreen regularly, and carry plenty of water when hiking the trails on Mt. Lofty.
The views from Mt. Lofty Summit are accessible to all, with accessible bathrooms, minimal gradients, and parking suitable for those with disabilities. It’s also possible to roll the Heysen Trail from Cleland Conservation Park, although the bumpy slope may challenge some and the lookout has stairs.
How to Get There
Mt. Lofty’s summit is about 11 miles (18 kilometers) southeast of downtown Adelaide. Bus 823 runs from the Crafers park and ride in the Adelaide Hills to Mt. Lofty Summit twice a day during the week, and three times a day on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, with no service on Christmas Day. Catch bus 864F or T840 from Grenfell Street to reach Crafers. For more flexibility, drive or join an organized tour.
When to Get There
Mt. Lofty Summit is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the visitor center open from morning to afternoon every day but Christmas Day. The café operates from morning to afternoon Sunday to Thursday, with local wine and platters served on Friday and Saturday evenings, and some seasonal closures. As with other Australian outdoor attractions, the area may be closed on days of extreme heat or fire risk.
Adelaide Hills Highlights
A cool escape from the searing heat of Adelaide during the South Australian summer, the Adelaide Hills are more than just a weekend getaway for urbanites. A wealth of home-grown food and drink options, including wineries, breweries, and distilleries, tempt the foodie traveler; towns such as Hahndorf boast historic charm; Mt. Lofty Summit offers delectable views; and at Christmas Lobethal delivers a spectacular lights display.